European Pressurized Reactor (EPR)

The Areva reactor, known in the U.S. as the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) - but curiously renamed the Evolutionary Power Reactor for the U.S. version - is tentatively slated for at least six sites in the U.S. Communities around these proposed sites have joined together to form the Stop EPR USA coalition (much like the national French Stop-EPR coalition.)



Delays and rising costs at EPR in Finland cause Areva credit to be lowered

Standard & Poor's has lowered the credit of Areva, the French government-owned global nuclear corporation, after new delays and cost over-runs plagued the company's reactor project in Finland. An additional $493 million bill was announced last month along with another six-month delay in the ever-moving projected completion date for Areva's EPR reactor under construction at Olkiluoto, Finland. The reactor is optimistically expected to be operational by the end of 2012.


The incredible shrinking EPR program in the U.S.

With delays and retreats abounding, the U.S. EPR program continues to diminish. Only two of the original seven remain fully active and even these are experiencing challenges and setbacks.

Here is the current status of what was once a promised seven EPR reactors for six U.S. sites:

Calvert Cliffs (MD). One EPR unit. The NRC is currently proceeding through the licensing process.  Calvert Cliffs is the "reference" EPR before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board
Note: The NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has admitted two public contentions for a hearing; 1) the proposed EdF ownership of 49.9% in UniStar violates the United States Atomic Energy Act probition on foreign ownership; 2) the UniStar application lacks an approved low-level radioactive waste storage and management plan.  Additionally, the loan guarantee process is going badly with the squabble between DOE  & OMB already raising the spectre of delay.
Bell Bend (PA). One EPR  unit. The NRC is proceeding in its review of the Pennsylvania Power and Light application.  The NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has denied all public contentions in request for a hearing.
Nine Mile Point 3 (NY). One EPR unit. The NRC review of the UniStar application is partially suspended until at least September 2010.
Callaway (MO). One EPR unit. The NRC indefinitely suspended its review of the AmerenEU application on June 23, 2009
Amarillo (TX). Two EPR units. Amarillo Power / UniStar has delayed the submission of a Combined Operating License Application to the NRC. No date of application submission has been formally offered to NRC.
Hammet  (ID). One EPR unit. Alternate Energy Holdings ( which has no electricity generation assets) has delayed the submission of a Combined Operating License Application to the NRC. No date of application submission has been formally offered to NRC.


EDF under pressure to pull out of Constellation deal in U.S.

Électricité de France, the French nuclear power operator, may pull out of its  $4.5bn deal with Constellation Energy currently on the table. The partnership could green light the construction of the first of EDF's EPR reactors in the U.S. - at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Maryland and potentially others around the country. The French utility has agreed to buy 49.9 per cent of Constellation's nuclear assets and build four nuclear reactors with the US company. But French governmental pressure may redirect EDF's focus to European contracts. The incomding new head of EDF, Henry Proglio, told French parliamentarians that he was not convinced the company should make the U.S. deal with Constellation. EDF ousted a bid by U.S. billionaire, Warren Buffett under its outgoing chairman, Pierre Gadonneix.


A second EPR to be built in France 

The French government has authorized construction of a second EPR in Normandy near Dieppe, even though the first one under construction at Flamanville, also in Normandy, has encountered technical problems and is behind schedule. The French and international nuclear opposition network - Sortir du Nucleaire - has challenged the decision since it violates the stated basis on which a second EPR can be built - that the first one must have already demonstrated a track record in construction and operation.


Protest in Dieppe against second EPR

Protesters from Stop EPR-2, the campaign against the proposed second EPR reactor in France -slated for the Dieppe area - attended and then disrupted a September 18 meeting of the Dieppe City Council when it was poised to approve the EPR project. Informing the press in advance and providing plenty of strong visuals, EPR opponents told council members and the mayor that the public had been omitted from consultation. Handcuffing themselves to chairs and tables the opponents chanted "the city belongs to all its inhabitants!" Watch the video (in French). And see how the the French really protest the EPR (warning: photo contains nudity.)